Grass Valley group brings all ages together through music at ‘the Bomb Shelter’
Special to The Union
There are numerous things that bring people in our community together, and one of those things is a love of music.
The Bomb Shelter GV is currently on a journey to become such a place for all members of the community.
The Bomb Shelter is a group of five people (John Kuhn, Haley Teichert, Alicia Hundley, Jordan Nelson and Doug Gaylord), whose goal is to create a safe environment for all ages to come and appreciate music, as well as encourage musicians to share their talents and prosper.
“The Bomb Shelter shows inspire creativity and energy release that otherwise isn’t accessible to youth in Nevada County,” said Sky Trent, who has performed in a show hosted by the Bomb Shelter. “It is an incredibly liberating feeling playing music with your friends and for your friends.”
The team started off renting a venue on Joerschke Drive in Grass Valley toward the end of September 2015. They had been playing shows there earlier, when the space was known as Synthetic Unlimited, until the owners moved to Los Angeles, leaving the space available to rent. After talking over the idea of making the venue an official Bomb Shelter venue, the 10 original team members were quick to pay the rent and to get shows going right away, including two shows they had booked before Synthetic Unlimited moved out.
They did all that they needed to make a legitimate venue of the space. However, the shows were shortlived due to complications with the building arising and causing them to temporarily shut down.
“By the time November rolled around, we had seven shows booked over a 10-day period with almost every high school band in the area scheduled to play, along with touring bands and quite a few from the Sacramento scene,” Gaylord said. “That’s when we were informed by the city that we’d have to close our doors until we added a second exit door, two ADA-compliant restrooms and met with a neighbor who had filed for a hearing with the City.”
Despite the obstacles, the team members were not ready to give up. When the space was shut down due to the needed renovations, the group began a fundraiser in hopes of making enough money to continue on with what needed to be done to get the place up and running once again. But, despite the help from the community, after meeting with local architect Nori Whisenand and trying to work out the additional bathroom plans, it was decided that it just wasn’t going to work.
The team was left to make a tough decision, and let the venue go.
However, their goal of providing a place where music can bring the community together remains as strong as ever.
With the support of the staff at The Center for the Arts, the Bomb Shelter has currently been putting on shows at the Off Center Stage location on Richardson Street in Grass Valley. Their upcoming show is going to be on May 27, and will be a benefit for Sacramento LadyFest, which features and promotes female-fronted bands.
The team, as well as community members, are determined to keep the Bomb Shelter alive, to ensure there are many more shows to come.
“If you had been at any of the five shows we officially held under the Bomb Shelter GV name, you would have witnessed the power of community, the boost in confidence these teen performers get and a real sense of what a cooperative society could look like,” Gaylord said. “We want to see that again and will be looking for a space to make it happen.”
Noelle Balestrieri is a Nevada Union High School senior and intern with The Union.
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